Business Leaders' Forum

Supermarket turmoil could benefit suppliers

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food manufacture group London Wal-mart

Turmoil in the grocery sector may bring greater clarity for their suppliers, predicts Wyke Farms md Richard Clothier.

If the big four supermarkets move to a simpler prices, in a bid to battle discount stores Aldi and Lidl, greater business clarity may benefit their suppliers, Clothier told the Food Manufacture Group’s Business Leaders’ Forum (BLF) in London last Tuesday (January 20).

“Everyone’s trying to respond to the impact caused by the discount retailers,”​ the boss of Britain’s largest independent cheese producer told in this video filmed at the event. The result was likely to be some of the bigger players trying to simplify their business by moving to an everyday low price type matrix, he said.

‘Honest, hard-working manufacturers’

“I’m hoping that more transparency in the way business is done will recognise honest, hard-working manufacturers, with a point of difference who supply quality products at a good price without the complications and shenanigans we have seen over the past three to four years”.

In a wide ranging interview, Clothier also explained why the latest transatlantic trade talks could bring threats as well as opportunities for the UK dairy sector and then discussed the industry’s reliance on migrant labour.

UK dairy sector

The free-to-attend event was staged at the offices of the host sponsor law firm DWF at the Walkie Talkie building in central London on January 20. The forum was also sponsored by food testing company ALcontrol Laboratories and Lloyds Bank.

It is open to senior food and drink manufacturing executives. Register for next year’s event by emailing

Meanwhile, watch the New England  Seafood group chairman Geoff Eaton sum up the main messages​ from the BLF here.

  • Both videos were produced by Laurence Gibbons.

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